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7/17/97 90-year-old church staffer honored for 60-year tenure

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (BP)–Prayer and a willingness to “stick with it” are the keys which 90-year-old Audrey Nell Cobine attributes to her 60-year tenure as financial associate for First Baptist Church, Little Rock, Ark.
“I would be astonished if there were another individual who had served in a Southern Baptist church for 60 years,” remarked pastor Bill Elliff.
“When I came as pastor, Audrey Nell wrote me a note that began, ‘Dear Number Eight!'” he added. “She has survived eight pastors and 11 United States presidents during her years here! What endurance! This church has been incredibly blessed with her presence, her expertise, her wit and her godliness through 60 years. We are now making plans for her 70th anniversary in the year 2007.”
Elliff said Cobine’s service “is a testimony which not only shows the grace of God, but also shows the graciousness and faithfulness of the individual.”
“There are no perfect job situations,” Cobine reflected. “However, as you seek God’s help through prayer, he will be with you in the good, as well as the difficult times.”
Cobine arrived in Little Rock from Arkansas County during the days of the Depression, going door-to-door to look for jobs, finally going to work for an insurance agency. “But soon the Lord opened the door for me to begin my years of service for First Church, then located in downtown Little Rock.”
Cobine said she is amazed at improvements which have come to the business world through computers and other technological advances.
“I began with a crank adding machine, a manual typewriter and a really old mimeograph machine which I believe Noah used to get out weather bulletins,” she said. “It first shot out solid black ink copies, but following each cleaning session I could get at least six financial reports.
“Even though I only work three days a week now, I well remember those early days being a full-time job,” she said. “I would work all day and as quitting time approached I would get up, walk around my desk to rest and then begin the evening shift.”
In addition to serving as financial associate, Cobine has been a Sunday school teacher to both business women and young people. “I still today continue to receive letters from these young people even though they are scattered throughout the country.”
Cobine shared her secrets for success during a June 1 reception given by the church in recognition of her years of ministry. She also was honored in the morning worship service as the church observed “Audrey Nell Cobine Day.”

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  • Millie Gill